Indian Zoos Prepare for Summer, Severe Heatwaves Expected in the Country

Piles of dry leaves, subdued growls and an occasional splash of water are the only sounds heard in animal enclosures at zoos as the cities sizzle under hot day temperatures. With the arrival of summer, Indian zoos prepare to ensure animals’ welfare in the summer heat as severe heatwaves are forecasted throughout the nation.

After the Meteorological Department forecasted severe heatwaves in parts of Andra Pradesh from March to May, forest officials are taking necessary action to make sure that animals are kept cool and hydrated – from putting cool roof paints to enclosures with palmyra leave shades and installing water sprinklers.

Indian zoos prepare to ensure animals’ welfare as severe heatwaves are forecasted throughout the nation | Image: Rajanish Kakade/AP

Authorities of Indra Gandhi Zoological Park have housed animals in 77 enclosures spread across 625 acres of the zoo. In Vizag zoo, the authorities have set up fans in the animal enclosures for wild dogs, hyenas, chimpanzees, panthers, and white tigers.

Authorities are also arranging khus mats for bird cages and watering the enclosures twice a day. Special water sprinklers for reptiles have also been set up well in advance. The zoo authorities are also taking special care to provide a special diet such as watermelon and cucumber to animals, as well as provide glucose and B-complex. The authorities have reduced unnecessary food supply and are providing only what is needed in good quantity.

At Sri Venkateshwara Zoological Park, the zoo authorities are arranging wall-mounted fans, air coolers, and exhaust fans based on the need in the night houses of individual species. Green nets for birds to protect them from heatwaves.

Sri Venkateswara Zoo Park curator M. Hima Sailaja said,

As day temperature touches 40ºC to 47ºC in Tirupati during the summer, “we are initiating all requisite measures to ensure the animals, birds and reptiles do not suffer heatstroke.

A royal Bengal tiger enjoys a shower in a pond to get some respite from the heatwave in his enclosure | Image: News18

Naga Sathish Gidijala, Deputy Director of Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP) says that the footfalls are barely 40% of the pre-Covid levels, which has led to a severe cash crunch for the zoo. As a self-sustaining unit, the main source of revenue for the zoo comes from gate tickets, which remain low amid the pandemic.

The government has given INR 6 crore funds for animal feed and welfare. Gidijala adds that due to the cash crunch, the zoo officials are only focusing on animals and their well-being. The power consumption during summer for the zoo is usually high. Every year, power bills alone amount to INR 2 lakhs in Indra Gandhi Zoological Park.

Cooler installed in the night closure of wold animals | Image: Social News

The authorities look forward to taking all the necessary action so that the animals and birds of the zoo do not get any heatstroke this summer. The funds are directed to animal wellbeing and not invested in visitors’ facilities.

Via: The Hindu

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